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Title: Handbook of The New York Public Library
Author: New York Public Library
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice.



[Illustration: CENTRAL BUILDING

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY]



   HANDBOOK

   _of_

   THE NEW YORK PUBLIC
   LIBRARY

   1916



   Copyright, 1916, by
   THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY



CONTENTS


   THE CENTRAL BUILDING:                        PAGE

     EXTERIOR                                      7

     SCULPTURE                                    13

     THE REAR OF THE BUILDING                     15


   FIRST FLOOR

     ENTRANCES                                    17

     ELEVATORS                                    19

     EXHIBITION ROOM                              19

     CURRENT PERIODICALS ROOM                     19

     BUSINESS OFFICES                             21

     TECHNOLOGY DIVISION                          21

     PATENTS ROOM                                 22

     THE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND                    22


   SECOND FLOOR

     ORIENTAL DIVISION                            23

     JEWISH DIVISION                              23

     SLAVONIC DIVISION                            23

     SCIENCE DIVISION                             25

     ECONOMICS DIVISION                           25

     BUSINESS OFFICES                             25


   THIRD FLOOR

     PUBLIC CATALOGUE ROOM                        27

     INFORMATION DESK                             31

     APPLICATION FOR BOOKS                        31

     THE MAIN READING ROOM                        31

     THE LIBRARY'S BOOKS                          33

     USE OF BOOKS                                 39

     STACK                                        39

     GENEALOGY ROOM                               39

     AMERICAN HISTORY DIVISION                    39

     RESERVE BOOKS                                41

     PRINTS ROOM                                  43

     ART AND ARCHITECTURE                         43

     MAP ROOM                                     45

     STUART GALLERY                               45

     GENERAL GALLERY                              45

     PRINTS GALLERY                               45

     MANUSCRIPT DIVISION                          46

     MUSIC DIVISION                               47


   BASEMENT

     NEWSPAPER ROOM                               47

     CENTRAL CIRCULATION BRANCH                   49

     CHILDREN'S ROOM                              51

     LIBRARY SCHOOL                               51

     PUBLIC TELEPHONES                            53

     BUSINESS OFFICES                             53

     TRAVELLING LIBRARIES OFFICE                  53


   CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT (BRANCHES):

     CIRCULATION OF BOOKS                         55

     SPECIAL COLLECTIONS                          57

     INTERBRANCH LOAN                             57

     READING ROOMS                                57

     LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND                        59

     TRAVELLING LIBRARIES                         59

     WORK WITH CHILDREN                           61

     LECTURES AND MEETINGS                        62


   HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE LIBRARY:

     THE ASTOR LIBRARY                            63

     THE LENOX LIBRARY                            67

     THE TILDEN TRUST                             67

     CONSOLIDATION                                69

     NEW YORK FREE CIRCULATING LIBRARY            71

     OTHER CIRCULATING LIBRARIES                  71

     CARNEGIE BRANCHES                            71

     MANAGEMENT                                   71

     BENEFACTORS                                  72

     WORK OF THE LIBRARY                          73


   FLOOR PLANS, CENTRAL BUILDING                  74

   TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE LIBRARY           76

   DIRECTORY OF BRANCH LIBRARIES                  77

   PUBLICATIONS OF THE LIBRARY                    78

   THE CROTON RESERVOIR                           79



_NOTE_


_Although the purpose of this Handbook is to tell the principal facts
about the Library as an institution, its chief use is likely to be that
of a guide to the Central Building. The section about the Central
Building is therefore given first place. Any visitor who cares to take
the trouble, before beginning his tour of the Building, to read the
brief historical sketch (on pages 63-73) will have a better
understanding of the organization and work of the Library, and see the
reasons for a number of things which might not otherwise be clear._



THE CENTRAL BUILDING


OPEN: WEEK DAYS, INCLUDING HOLIDAYS, 9 A.M. TO 10 P.M. SUNDAYS, 1 P.M.
TO 10 P.M.

(Except where otherwise noted these are the hours of the special reading
rooms.)



THE CENTRAL BUILDING


=The Central Building= of The New York Public Library is on the western
side of Fifth Avenue, occupying the two blocks between 40th and 42nd
Streets. It stands on part of the site of the old Croton distributing
reservoir, and it was built by the City of New York at a cost of about
nine million dollars.

Competitions to choose the architect for the building were held in 1897,
two years after The New York Public Library was incorporated. The result
of the competition was the selection of Messrs. Carrère and Hastings, of
New York, as architects. In 1899 the work of removing the old reservoir
began. Various legal difficulties and labor troubles delayed beginning
the construction of the building, but by November 10, 1902, the work had
progressed so far that the cornerstone was laid. The building was opened
to the public May 23, 1911, in the presence of the President of the
United States, the Governor of the State of New York, the Mayor of New
York, and an audience of about six hundred persons.

=Exterior.= The material of the building is largely Vermont marble, and
the style that of the modern Renaissance, somewhat in the manner of the
period of Louis XVI, with certain modifications to suit the conditions
of to-day. It is rectangular in shape, 390 feet long and 270 feet deep,
built around two inner courts. It has a cellar, basement or ground
floor, and three upper floors.

[Illustration: MAIN ENTRANCE]

"The Library," wrote Mr. A. C. David, in the _Architectural Record_[1],
"is undeniably popular. It has already taken its place in the public
mind as a building of which every New Yorker may be proud, and this
opinion of the building is shared by the architectural profession of the
country. Of course, it does not please everybody; but if American
architects in good standing were asked to name the one building which
embodied most of what was good in contemporary American architecture,
The New York Public Library would be the choice of a handsome majority."

Mr. David continued: "The Library is not, then, intended to be a great
monumental building, which would look almost as well from one point of
view as another, and which would be fundamentally an example of pure
architectural form. It is designed rather to face on the avenue of a
city, and not to seem out of place on such a site. It is essentially and
frankly an instance of street architecture; and as an instance of street
architecture it is distinguished in its appearance rather than imposing.
Not, indeed, that it is lacking in dignity. The façade on Fifth Avenue
has poise, as well as distinction; character, as well as good manners.
But still it does not insist upon its own peculiar importance, as every
monumental building must do. It is content with a somewhat humbler rôle,
but one which is probably more appropriate. It looks ingratiating rather
than imposing, and that is probably one reason for its popularity. It is
intended for popular rather than for official use, and the building
issues to the people an invitation to enter rather than a command....

[Illustration: TERRACE IN FRONT OF LIBRARY

LOOKING SOUTH]

"The final judgment on the Library will be, consequently, that it is not
a great monument, because considerations of architectural form have in
several conspicuous instances been deliberately subordinated to the
needs of the plan. In this respect it resembles the new Museum of Fine
Arts in Boston. The building is at bottom a compromise between two
groups of partly antagonistic demands, and a compromise can hardly ever
become a consummate example of architectural form. But, on the other
hand, Messrs. Carrère and Hastings have, as in so many other cases, made
their compromise successful. Faithful as they have been to the
fundamental requirement of adapting the building to its purpose as a
library, they have also succeeded in making it look well; and they have
succeeded in making it look well partly because the design is
appropriate to its function as a building in which books are stored,
read and distributed. A merely monumental library always appears
somewhat forbidding and remote. The Library looks attractive, and so far
as a large building can, even intimate....

[Illustration: BY EDWARD C. POTTER]

[Illustration: TERRACE LOOKING NORTH]

"The popularity of the Library has, consequently, been well earned. The
public has reason to like it, because it offers them a smiling
countenance; and the welcome it gives is merely the outward and visible
sign of an inward grace. When people enter they will find a building
which has been ingeniously and carefully adapted to their use.
Professional architects like it, because they recognize the skill, the
good taste and the abundant resources of which the building, as a whole,
is the result; and while many of them doubtless cherish a secret
thought that they would have done it better, they are obliged to
recognize that in order to have done it better they would have been
obliged to exhibit a high degree of architectural intelligence. In the
realism of its plan and in the mixture of dignity and distinction in the
design, The New York Public Library is typical of that which is best in
the contemporary American architectural movement; and New York is
fortunate, indeed, that such a statement can be made of the most
important public building erected in the city during several
generations."

[Illustration: ROMANCE BY PAUL BARTLETT]

=Sculpture.= Of the sculptural designs, the two lions on either side of
the main approach are by E. C. Potter. They have been subjected to much
criticism, mainly of a humorous nature, and in the daily press. This
adverse comment has not been endorsed by critics of art and
architecture. Mr. Potter was chosen for this work by Augustus St.
Gaudens, and again, after Mr. St. Gaudens' death, by Mr. D. C. French,
also an eminent sculptor. Any layman can satisfy himself, by a brief
observation of the building as a whole, that the architectural balance
of the structure demands figures of heroic size to flank the main
approach. With that requirement in view, the designer of such figures
has but a limited choice of subject, since there are few living
creatures whose forms possess dignity without being cumbrous. The
sculptor in this instance has followed well-established precedents in
designing the lions according to the canons of decorative art. They are
as realistic as would be suitable for figures of this size, and in this
position.

[Illustration: PHILOSOPHY BY PAUL BARTLETT]

The groups in the pediments are by George Gray Barnard; the one in the
northern pediment represents History, and the one in the southern, Art.

The figures above the fountains on either side of the main entrance are
by Frederick MacMonnies; the man seated on the Sphinx, on the northern
side of the entrance represents Truth. On the southern side, the figure
of the woman seated on Pegasus represents Beauty. Above the figure of
Truth is this inscription from the Apocrypha (1 Esdras, chapter 3):

   BUT ABOVE ALL THINGS
   TRUTH
   BEARETH AWAY
   THE VICTORY

The inscription above the figure of Beauty is:

   BEAUTY
   OLD YET EVER NEW
   ETERNAL VOICE
   AND INWARD WORD

This is from the twenty-first stanza of Whittier's poem, "The Shadow and
the Light."

The six figures above the main entrance are by Paul Bartlett; naming
them from north to south they are: History, Drama, Poetry, Religion,
Romance, and Philosophy. Above the entrance are inscriptions concerning
three of the component parts of The New York Public Library. They are as
follows:

   THE LENOX LIBRARY
   FOUNDED BY
   JAMES LENOX
   DEDICATED TO HISTORY
   LITERATURE AND THE FINE ARTS
   MDCCCLXX

   THE ASTOR LIBRARY
   FOUNDED BY
   JOHN JACOB ASTOR
   FOR THE
   ADVANCEMENT OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE
   MDCCCXLVIII

   THE TILDEN TRUST
   FOUNDED BY
   SAMUEL JONES TILDEN
   TO SERVE THE INTERESTS OF
   SCIENCE AND POPULAR EDUCATION
   MDCCCLXXXVI

Beneath these is this inscription:

   MDCCCXCV  THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY  MDCCCCII

Of the dates in this inscription, the first, 1895, is that of the
incorporation of The New York Public Library; the second, 1902, is that
of the laying of the cornerstone.

The statue of William Cullen Bryant, behind the Library, is by Herbert
Adams.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The rear of the building= should be viewed from Bryant Park. The long
windows are to light the bookstack. Some critics have commended the
rear of the building very highly. Mr. A. C. David, in the article
previously quoted, says:

     "This façade is very plainly treated, without any pretence to
     architectural effect. It is, indeed, designed frankly as the rear
     of a structure which is not meant to be looked at except on the
     other sides. Any attempt, consequently, at monumental treatment has
     been abandoned. The building is designed to be seen from Fifth
     Avenue and from the side streets. The rear, on Bryant Park, merely
     takes care of itself; and one of the largest apartments in any
     edifice in the United States is practically concealed, so far as
     any positive exterior result is concerned."

[Illustration: A RAINY DAY--FIFTH AVENUE

FROM AN ETCHING BY CHARLES B. KING]

The large apartment referred to in this quotation is the Main Reading
Room of the Library, which is described farther on in this Handbook.


FIRST FLOOR

=Entrances.= There are two entrances to the Library, the main entrance on
Fifth Avenue, and the side door on 42nd Street, which gives admission to
the basement, where the Central Circulation Room, the Newspaper Room and
the Central Children's Room are to be found. On a first visit, however,
the sightseer should use the main entrance on Fifth Avenue, in order to
see the lobby, which rises through two stories, with broad staircases to
the right and left. The flying arches of these staircases are of
seventeen feet span, and are all of marble without any brick or metal
work whatever. The marble used in the lobby is from Vermont. The ceiling
is a true marble vault of forty feet span, supporting itself and the
floor over it, with no metal whatever, except some reinforcing rods
buried in the concrete filling in the floor above.

[Illustration: TRUTH

BY FREDERICK MACMONNIES]

Between the pillars facing the entrance are two inscriptions. At the
left is this:

   THE CITY OF NEW YORK
   HAS ERECTED THIS BUILDING
   TO BE MAINTAINED FOREVER
   AS A FREE LIBRARY
   FOR THE USE OF THE PEOPLE

[Illustration: PART OF MAIN FAÇADE]

And at the right:

   ON THE DIFFUSION OF EDUCATION
   AMONG THE PEOPLE
   REST THE PRESERVATION
   AND PERPETUATION
   OF OUR FREE INSTITUTIONS

The latter is a quotation from an address by Daniel Webster at Madison,
Indiana, June 1, 1837.

=Elevators= are near the northern or 42nd Street end of the building.
There is also a staircase at this end of the building, in addition to
the staircases near the main entrance.

=Exhibition Room.= Directly opposite the main entrance is the Exhibition
Room, finished in white Vermont marble. The ceiling is supported by
twenty-four columns of green veined white marble. The ceiling itself is
elaborately and beautifully carved in oak. This room is devoted to
exhibitions of rare books, manuscripts and prints. The exhibitions are
changed from time to time, usually as often as three or four times a
year. Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. on week days; 1 to 5 p. m. Sundays.

[Illustration]

=Current Periodicals Room.= The corridor to the south from the main
entrance leads to the Current Periodicals Room (Room Number 111). Here
about 4,500 current periodicals are on file. A hundred of these are on
open racks. The others may be obtained upon application at the desk. A
classified finding list gives the reader the titles of periodicals kept
here. As this room is sometimes confused in the public mind with a
popular or club reading room, it should be remembered that this is one
department in a building primarily devoted to the reference work of the
Library. The few restrictions which are imposed are only for the purpose
of keeping the files intact for binding. The Branches of The New York
Public Library contain reading rooms where all the periodicals are on
open racks.

[Illustration: FRONT DOOR]

=Business Offices.= Following the corridor leading south and then turning
to the right along the 40th Street side of the building, one reaches
some of the business offices of the Library--the office of the Bursar
(No. 104), of the Building Superintendent (No. 103), of the Chief of the
Circulation Department (No. 102), and of the Supervisor of work with
children (No. 105). These offices are open for any persons who have
occasion to visit them for business reasons, but they are of no interest
to sightseers. In Room 100, devoted mainly to the cataloguing work of
the Circulation Department, there is a card catalogue of all the books
in this Department,--that is, in the Branches of the Library. The Room
is open to the public, for the consultation of this catalogue, on week
days from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m.

[Illustration: BASE OF FLAGPOLE]

=Technology Division.= Following the corridor leading to the north from
the main entrance, there is, on the right, the room of the Technology
Division (No. 115), devoted to applied science and engineering. The
collection of books in this Division, or under its control, numbers
about 65,000. In this room, as in all the special reading rooms, with a
few exceptions, books are on open shelves for the free access of readers
and students.

=Patents Room= (No. 121). At the end of the corridor parallel to 42nd
Street, is the Patents Room, a part of the Technology Division. It is
open from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. on week days, and is closed on Sundays.
Patents may be consulted evenings and Sundays by arrangement with the
technology librarian, Room 115.

[Illustration: NORTH WING]

=The Library for the Blind= (No. 116) is on the inner or western side of
the corridor leading north from the main entrance. This collection
contains about 8,000 books in embossed type for blind readers, and, in
addition, 5,500 music scores, also in embossed type. These books are
lent not only in Greater New York, but are sent free by mail to blind
readers in all parts of the States of New York, New Jersey, and
Connecticut. A teacher employed by the Library goes to homes and
institutions in the City of New York to teach adult blind persons to
read by touch. The room is open on week days from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. A
bronze tablet on the wall bears the following inscription:

   THE NEW YORK
   FREE CIRCULATING LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND
   WAS FOUNDED BY RICHARD RANDALL FERRY

          *       *       *       *       *

   THROUGH THE EXERTIONS OF CLARA A. WILLIAMS
   THIS LIBRARY WAS PERMANENTLY ESTABLISHED

   INCORPORATED, JUNE 3, 1895
   TRANSFERRED TO THE N. Y. PUBLIC LIBRARY, FEB. 21, 1903

   TRUSTEES

   WILLIAM B. WAIT
   CLARA A. WILLIAMS
   CLARK B. FERRY
   RICHARD RANDALL FERRY
   CHARLES W. WESTON

The trustees named on the tablet are, of course, those of the former
organization: the "New York Free Circulating Library for the Blind."


SECOND FLOOR

On the second floor a corridor runs along the front of the building,
turning into short corridors at the north and south, and also into a
central corridor. From these corridors open studies, offices and special
reading rooms. In the central corridor, four studies open on the right,
while the fifth room on this side is devoted to the:

=Oriental Division= (No. 219), with a collection of about 20,000 books and
pamphlets in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, and other
eastern languages. Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. week days.

=Jewish Division= (No. 217). Opposite the Oriental Division, on the south
side of this central corridor, is the reading room devoted to the Jewish
Division. There are about 24,000 books in the collection.

=Slavonic Division.= The room devoted to the Slavonic Division (No. 216)
is also on the south side of the central corridor. The resources of this
Division, books and periodicals in the various Slavonic languages,
number about 23,000.

[Illustration: REAR OF LIBRARY FROM BRYANT PARK]

=Science Division.= On the corridor parallel to Fifth Avenue, and leading
north from the main staircase, the room on the right contains the
Science Division (No. 225). There are about 35,000 books under the
control of this Division.

=Economics Division.= From the corridor on the northern or 42nd Street end
of the building open the rooms devoted to Public Documents (No. 229) and
Economics and Sociology. These were formerly separate divisions, but now
united, and the entrance is through Room 229. The resources of the
Division (including the large collection of Public Documents) number
about 400,000 books and pamphlets.

=Business Offices.= The rooms opening from the corridor running south from
the main staircase are mostly business offices, devoted to the
administration of the Library. They are of little interest to
sightseers, but are open to any persons who have occasion to visit them.
They include, on the front of the building, a lecture room (No. 213),
the office of the Director of the Library (No. 210), and the meeting
room of the Board of Trustees (No. 205). On the inner or western side of
the corridor are: a study (No. 214), the office of the Editor of
Publications (No. 212), and of the Reference Librarian (No. 211). The
Trustees' Room may be seen on special application at the Director's
office. Over the mantelpiece in this room is the inscription:

   THE CITY OF NEW YORK HAS ERECTED THIS
   BUILDING FOR THE FREE USE OF ALL THE PEOPLE
   MCMX
   I LOOK TO THE DIFFUSION OF LIGHT AND EDUCATION
   AS THE RESOURCE MOST TO BE RELIED ON FOR
   AMELIORATING THE CONDITION PROMOTING THE VIRTUE
   AND ADVANCING THE HAPPINESS OF MAN

   THOMAS JEFFERSON

[Illustration: MALL BEHIND LIBRARY]

On the corridor leading west, and running along the 40th Street end of
the building, are workrooms, open only to visitors having business
engagements. These rooms are the office of the Order Division (No. 204)
and of the Cataloguing and Accessions Divisions (No. 200 and No. 201).

[Illustration: SOUTH COURT]


THIRD FLOOR

The most important room on the third floor and, indeed, the centre of
activity of the entire Reference Department of the Library, is the Main
Reading Room, approached through the Public Catalogue Room. The latter
opens from the western side of the corridor at the head of the
staircases.

=Public Catalogue Room.= This room (No. 315) contains the catalogue of the
books in the Reference Department of the Library,--that is, the books
available to readers in the Main Reading Room and in the special reading
rooms of the Central Building. It is a dictionary catalogue, on cards,
in which the books are entered by author, by subject, and by title, when
the title is distinctive. The catalogue is in trays arranged in
alphabetical order, beginning on the northwest wall of the room and
running to the right. At the end of this catalogue, and on the southern
side of the room, is an author catalogue of the books in the Central
Circulation Branch and Central Children's Room, Rooms 78 and 80, in the
basement. At the end of this second catalogue and separated from it by a
public telephone, is a catalogue of the books in the Library of Congress
for which printed catalogue cards have been issued.

[Illustration: NORTHWEST CORNER]

Near the entrance to the Public Catalogue Room, and at the right, is a
bronze tablet:

   BORN A.D. MDCCCXIII
   (Bas-relief of Sir Isaac Pitman)
   TABLET ERECTED A.D. MCMXIII
   TO COMMEMORATE
   THE
   ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY
   OF THE BIRTH OF
   SIR ISAAC PITMAN
   AND IN RECOGNITION OF THE
   IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF
   SHORTHAND LITERATURE
   IN THE
   NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Over the door leading from the Public Catalogue Room to the Main Reading
Room is inscribed the famous quotation from Milton's "Areopagitica":

   A good Booke
   is the precious life-blood of a
   master spirit, embalm'd and treasur'd
   up on purpose to a life beyond life

[Illustration: ENTRANCE LOBBY]

=Information Desk.= The Information Desk of the Library is in the Public
Catalogue Room, and here inquiries should be made about the resources
and regulations of the Library, the use of the catalogue, and any other
matter upon which the visitor may have a question to ask.

=Application for books= to be used in the Main Reading Room should be made
in the Public Catalogue Room. The applicant writes his request upon the
slip furnished for the purpose, and files it at the desk in this room. A
numbered ticket is handed him, which he takes into the Main Reading
Room, going to the right if the ticket number is odd; to the left if the
number is even. He then waits at the indicator at the western end of the
delivery desk until the number on his ticket appears. This means that
his books are ready for him at the desk. If, however, he prefers first
to select a seat in the Main Reading Room, he should write the number of
that seat on his application, and his books will be left at that seat,
if he is there to receive them.

[Illustration]

=The Main Reading Room=, in the rear, extends nearly the entire length of
the building. It has a floor area of half an acre, and is divided in the
middle by a booth from which books are delivered. There are seats for
768 readers. Mr. A. C. David, in the article previously quoted from the
_Architectural Record_, says:

     "The Main Reading Room is one of the most spacious rooms in the
     world--beautifully proportioned, lighted by a series of windows on
     both the long sides of the room, and entirely accessible to the
     stacks. To have obtained a room of these dimensions, so excellently
     adapted to its purpose in every respect, was a great triumph for
     the architects."

[Illustration: DOOR OF EXHIBITION ROOM]

The shelves along the walls contain a collection of about
25,000 volumes. These books are not only the usual works of
reference,--dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and the like, but they also
include a good working library of general literature,--philosophy,
religion, science, history, law, biography, standard novels, poetry, and
the drama. These books are for the free use of anyone in this room,
without the need of making any application. The reader has only to
select the book he wishes, and to take it to a table, where he may
consult it. When he has finished he should leave it on the table, rather
than attempt to return it to its place, since a misplaced book is
temporarily lost.

=The Library's Books.= It should be kept in mind that the books of the
Reference Department are all in the Central Building, and must all be
used in that building. The great body of them are in the stack beneath
the Main Reading Room. In addition, there are the books in the Main
Reading Room itself, and in the special reading rooms in other parts of
the building. Books and pamphlets number, altogether, about one million
and a quarter.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE LOBBY, LOOKING WEST]

The books in the Central Circulation Room and in the Children's Room in
the basement, the books in the Library for the Blind, those in the
Travelling Libraries office in the basement, and those in the
forty-three Branch Libraries in other parts of the Boroughs of
Manhattan, The Bronx, and Richmond are under control of the
Circulation Department of the Library. Nearly all of these books are
lent to borrowers for home use. They number about 1,100,000 volumes.

[Illustration: SOUTH SIDE OF EXHIBITION ROOM]

[Illustration: MAIN READING ROOM]

In regard to the books in the Reference Department, it is correct to say
that in them the Library owns a well-balanced collection for research in
nearly every branch of human knowledge. The books formerly in the Astor
and Lenox Libraries compose the foundation of the collection. The
subjects most adequately represented are those of American history, of
topics connected with the American continents, and the economic and
social sciences. There are also extensive sets of public documents, of
the publications of learned institutions, as well as comprehensive files
of periodicals. In recent years not so much attempt has been made to get
publications on law, theology, medicine and biology, since there are
special libraries, elsewhere in the City, where these subjects are
covered. The reader is nevertheless sure to find in the special reading
rooms, and in the books which may be brought to the Main Reading Room
for his use, the fundamental printed sources in practically every field
of knowledge.

[Illustration: PANEL IN CEILING, EXHIBITION ROOM]

[Illustration: DOOR IN SCREEN

MAIN READING ROOM]

=Use of Books.= The Library's situation in the metropolis, and its freedom
from restrictions (according to the custom of American libraries) have
caused the use of its books to become two or three times greater than
that of any of the other large libraries of the world; the average daily
number of readers is more than double the number in any foreign library.

[Illustration]

=Stack.= Underneath the Main Reading Room is the steel stack, in seven
decks, containing 334,500 feet, or 63.3 miles, of shelving. It has room
for about 2,500,000 books. (The special reading rooms have a shelf
capacity for about 500,000 books.) The books in the stack are brought by
electric elevators to the Main Reading Room, as they are called for by
readers. The stack is not open to readers or visitors.

=Genealogy Room.= At the northern end of the Main Reading Room is the room
devoted to Local History and Genealogy (No. 328). The collection numbers
about thirty thousand volumes.

[Illustration: PART OF MAIN READING ROOM]

=American History Division.= At the southern end of the Main Reading Room
is the room devoted to American history (No. 300). It is one of the
strongest divisions of the Library, since its books are so
distinguished among collections of this kind as to make them of the
greatest importance to students and scholars in the field of American
history. The foundation of this collection was formed by the books on
American history owned by James Lenox, the founder of the Lenox Library,
one of the components of the present New York Public Library. The tablet
in the floor near the entrance of Room 300 is inscribed as follows:

   IN MEMORY OF
   JAMES LENOX
   A NATIVE AND RESIDENT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
   BORN AUGUST 19 1800
   DIED FEBRUARY 17 1880
   THE TRUSTEES OF
   THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
   ASTOR LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
   IN PERFORMANCE OF A GRATEFUL DUTY
   HAVE CAUSED THIS TABLET TO BE PLACED
   HERE AMONG THE BOOKS HE CHERISHED
   AS A MEMORIAL OF HIS SERVICES
   TO THE HISTORY OF AMERICA

From the corridors on the front and sides of the third floor, rooms open
in the following order, beginning with the corridor at the south,
running along the 40th Street side of the building:

=Reserve Books= (No. 303): In this room are kept the rare and reserved
books of the Library.

Among the foremost treasures of the Library are: the Gutenberg Bible
(printed by Gutenberg and Fust about 1455, one of the earliest books
printed from movable types); the Coverdale Bible (1535); Tyndale's
Pentateuch (1530) and New Testament (1536); and Eliot's Indian Bible. In
fact, the collection of early Bibles in English is one of the great
collections of the kind in existence. The Library also owns four copies
of the First Folio Shakespeare (1623); several copies of the Second,
Third, and Fourth Folios (1632, 1663-64, 1685); thirty-five editions of
the Shakespeare Quartos, before 1709; eight works printed by William
Caxton (1475-90); the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the
territory now comprised in the United States (Cambridge, 1640); and the
Doctrina Christiana, printed in Mexico in 1544.

[Illustration: BOOK STACK

(SHOWING HALF THE LENGTH OF ONE DECK)]

One contribution to the Library has been commemorated by a tablet near
the door of this room. It bears the inscription:

   THE
   BAILEY MYERS COLLECTION
   OF
   AMERICANA
   FORMED BY
   THEODORUS BAILEY MYERS
   OF
   NEW YORK CITY
   1821-1888
   GIVEN BY HIS WIDOW, DAUGHTER
   AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AS A
   MEMORIAL OF HIM AND HIS SON
   THEODORUS BAILEY MYERS MASON
   LIEUTENANT COMMANDER
   UNITED STATES NAVY

Opposite, in Room 304, is the office of the Bibliographer of the
Library, and of the Chief of the American History Division.

=Prints Room.= Opening from the corridor on the east (the front) of the
Library is the Prints Room (No. 308). Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. week days;
1 to 6 p. m. Sundays. Here is the Samuel P. Avery Collection of 18,000
prints. They are mainly French and other modern etchings and
lithographs. There is also a large collection of modern American prints,
a collection of Japanese prints in color, and a collection of old prints
illustrating the development of reproductive graphic art to the present
day.

=Art and Architecture.= Room 313 is the reading room devoted to Art and
Architecture. The resources of the collection, about 25,000 books, deal
with art and craftsmanship in the widest sense.

[Illustration: TRUSTEES' ROOM]

=Map Room.= On the inner, or western, side of this corridor, opposite Room
313, is the Map Room (No. 312), a part of the American History Division.
Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. on week days.

=Stuart Gallery.= Opening from the corridor on the front of the building,
and directly opposite the entrance to the Public Catalogue Room, is the
room devoted to the Stuart Collection (No. 316). Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m.
on week days. Closed on Sundays. This contains pictures, books, and
other objects of art bequeathed by Mrs. Robert L. Stuart. On the east
wall of the Gallery is a tablet with this inscription:

   THE
   ROBERT L. STUART
   COLLECTION
   THE GIFT OF HIS WIDOW,
   MRS. MARY STUART.
   BEQUEATHED TO THE
   LENOX LIBRARY
   1892.

Catalogues of the paintings are on sale for ten cents.

=General Gallery.= The next room to the north is the general gallery (No.
318). (Sign reads "Picture Gallery.") The pictures in this room are
largely from the collection of James Lenox. The catalogue, mentioned in
the preceding paragraph, gives a list of them, and a brief description
of many. Open 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. week days and 1 to 5 p. m. Sundays.

=Prints Gallery.= Opening from No. 318, and also from the north end of the
front corridor, is the Prints Gallery (No. 321). Here are held
exhibitions of prints, changed several times each year. Open 9 a. m. to
6 p. m. on week days and 1 to 5 p. m. Sundays.

=Manuscript Division.= On the west or inner side of the front corridor is
the research room of the Manuscript Division (No. 319). This is open
only to those who hold cards signed by the Director of the Library. Open
9 a. m. to 6 p. m. week days. The Division has a good selection of
Oriental manuscripts, and of European illuminated manuscripts. Among
these older ones may be mentioned an "Evangelistarium, sive Lectiones ex
Evangeliis," a French-Carlovingian manuscript on 200 vellum leaves, date
about 870 A. D. Another manuscript of special note is the work of Giulio
Clovio, his "Christi Vita ab Evangelistis descripta," sometimes called
"The Towneley Lectionary." It was made for Alexander, Cardinal Farnese,
and was presented by him to Pope Paul III.

[Illustration: ONE OF THE SPECIAL READING ROOMS

(GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY)]

The collection of American historical manuscripts ranks as one of the
best in the United States. Here, for example, is the original manuscript
of Washington's "Farewell Address," a copy of the Declaration of
Independence in Jefferson's autograph, and many other letters and
original sources for research. Lists of the principal manuscripts have
been printed in the Bulletin of The New York Public Library (Volume 5,
page 306-336, and volume 19, page 135-162).

=Music Division.= Turning to the west, the corridor along the 42nd Street
side of the building leads to the Music Division (No. 324), which opens
from the north side of the corridor. It is open week days from 9 a. m.
to 6 p. m. The resources of the Division number about twenty-two
thousand volumes and pieces of music.

A tablet at the north end of the room bears this inscription:

   DREXEL MUSICAL LIBRARY.
   THE LEGACY OF JOSEPH W. DREXEL 1888.

On the east wall is a tablet reading as follows:

   IN MEMORY OF
   1855  JULIAN EDWARDS  1910
   WHOSE COLLECTION OF MUSIC SCORES
   AND BOOKS WAS GIVEN TO THIS LIBRARY


BASEMENT

The basement contains three rooms of public interest. The entrance from
42nd Street is the most convenient way to reach these rooms from the
outside of the building, but a visitor on one of the upper floors should
take the elevator or the staircase, both near the north end of the
building.

[Illustration: CENTRAL CIRCULATION ROOM]

=Newspaper Room.= In the Newspaper Room (No. 84) about sixty daily
newspapers are on racks for free use, without the need of any
application. About twenty-five foreign newspapers are obtainable upon
application at the desk. A bulletin board at the right of the entrance
gives full information about these and other resources of the Newspaper
Room.

On the western side of the entrance corridor, near the door of the
Circulating Library, is a bronze tablet with the following inscription:

   [Seal of The New York Public Library]

   THIS BUILDING IS ERECTED
   UPON A PART OF THE COMMON LANDS
   WHICH WERE GRANTED BY ROYAL CHARTER
   TO THE MAYOR ALDERMEN AND COMMONALTY
   OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
   IN 1686,
   THE SECOND YEAR OF THE REIGN OF JAMES THE SECOND
   KING OF ENGLAND.

   THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN 1897,
   WILLIAM L. STRONG BEING MAYOR,
   UNDERTOOK TO CONSTRUCT,
   AT THE PUBLIC EXPENSE,
   A BUILDING UPON THIS SITE
   TO BE USED AND OCCUPIED BY
   THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY,
   ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
   SO LONG AS IT SHOULD MAINTAIN HEREIN
   A FREE LIBRARY AND READING ROOM FOR THE PEOPLE.

   WORK WAS BEGUN BY THE CITY IN 1899,
   ROBERT ANDERSON VAN WYCK BEING MAYOR.
   THE CORNERSTONE WAS LAID IN 1902,
   SETH LOW BEING MAYOR.
   THE BUILDING WAS COMPLETED IN 1909,
   GEORGE BRINTON McCLELLAN BEING MAYOR.
   IT WAS OCCUPIED AND OPENED TO THE PUBLIC IN 1911
   WILLIAM JAY GAYNOR BEING MAYOR.

[Illustration: NORTH STAIRCASE]

=Central Circulation Branch= (sign over door reads, "Circulating Library")
(No. 80). This is one of the forty-four Branches of The New York Public
Library, intended for the circulation of books for home use. In this
instance alone the Branch is situated in the Central Building and is
supported by the funds of the Library and not by the City. The room is
interesting because of its activity. The view of it reproduced in this
book had to be taken when but few people were there, but during
afternoons and evenings, especially in the autumn, winter, and spring
months, the room is frequently over-crowded with readers and borrowers
of books. As over 500,000 books were borrowed from this one room during
1915 it may be said that there are few, if any, busier library rooms in
the country, or, indeed, in the world. There is a collection of over
50,000 books, with a reserve collection of somewhat more than 70,000.
The room is open 9 a. m. to 10 p. m. week days, including all holidays,
and 2 to 6 p. m. on Sundays.

=Children's Room.= Near the 42nd Street entrance a corridor runs east to
the Children's Room (No. 78). The visitor to the building should not
fail to see this room, with its attractive furnishings, its collections
of brightly colored picture-books, and pictures.

The object of the room is not only to perform the usual work of a
children's room, but also to interest and help parents and others in
selecting children's reading. Authors, artists, and publishers come here
for information about books for children. Another purpose is to furnish
suggestions for similar rooms elsewhere. A number of libraries, in other
parts of the world, have adopted suggestions which they found here.
Exhibitions on various subjects are held from time to time, and there is
a collection of children's books of the old-fashioned kind. Open 9 a. m.
to 6 p. m. week days.

[Illustration: CHILDREN'S ROOM]

=Library School.= Here a two years' course in training for library work is
given to a body of students averaging about seventy-five in number. The
office of the School (where inquiries should be made) is in Room 75,
on the inner or western side of the corridor which runs along the front
of the building, parallel to Fifth Avenue. The Library School class
room, not open to the public, is on the other side of the corridor.

=Public Telephones.= The public telephones are in Room 70, on the inner or
western side of the front corridor.

=Business Offices.= The rest of the basement floor is occupied by offices,
open only to those who have business engagements therein. The offices
include that for Printing and Binding (No. 58), and the Shipping Room
(No. 51). In the Printing Office the catalogue cards of the Library,
printed forms, and all the Library's publications are printed. For the
publications, see page 78.

=Travelling Libraries Office.= The entrance to the Travelling Libraries
office is from Bryant Park, at the southwest corner of the building. The
office itself is not of interest to sightseers. As it is under control
of the Circulation Department, its work is described on page 59.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 1: September, 1910.]

[Illustration]



THE CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT


     BRANCH LIBRARIES--HOURS OF OPENING: CENTRAL CIRCULATION open 9 a.
     m. to 10 p. m. every week day, 2 to 6 p. m. on Sundays. CHILDREN'S
     ROOM 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. on week days. LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND,
     TRAVELLING LIBRARIES, and OFFICES open 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. on week
     days.

OTHER BRANCHES, 9 a. m. to 9 p. m. on week days. Exceptions as follows:
CENTRAL CIRCULATION and branches in Carnegie buildings open full hours
on all holidays; other branches closed on January 1, May 30, July 4,
December 25, presidential election day, and Thanksgiving; after 6 p. m.
on February 22 and Christmas eve; after 5 p. m. on election days other
than presidential elections.



CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT


The Circulation Department of the Library performs its work through
forty-four Branch Libraries in the Boroughs of Manhattan, Richmond
(Staten Island), and The Bronx. (Each of the other two Boroughs of
Greater New York, Brooklyn and Queens, has its own Public Library.)
These Branches are in separate buildings, with the exception of the
Circulation Branch in the Central Building. That is supported by the
funds of the Library; all the others are maintained by the City.
Thirty-seven of the Branch buildings were erected from funds given by
Mr. Andrew Carnegie. The collections of books in the Branches number
from ten to fifty thousand, with a total of about 1,100,000 books.

Each Branch has an adult department, with its collection of books for
adult readers, a children's room, and a reading room with current
magazines, reference books, and, in many cases, daily newspapers. Many
of the Branches contain lecture or assembly rooms.

These Branch Libraries serve a population estimated at above three
million. The Branches are spread over a large territory, and from the
northernmost of them, in the Borough of The Bronx, to the one farthest
south, on Staten Island, the distance is about forty miles. A directory
of Branches is on page 77.

=Circulation of Books.= The New York Public Library, according to the
general custom of American libraries, imposes few restrictions upon its
readers. This fact, together with its situation in the metropolis of
the country, is the reason why it is probably used more than any other
library under one management in the world. The use is constantly
growing. In 1915 there were borrowed from the Branch Libraries, for home
use, 10,384,579 books.

[Illustration: SEWARD PARK BRANCH]

=Special Collections.= There are books in foreign languages, especially
French and German, in all the Branches. The principal collections of
books in foreign tongues other than French and German, are these:

   _Language      Branch_

   Bohemian       Webster.
   Chinese        Chatham Square.
   Danish         Tottenville, 125th Street.
   Dutch          Muhlenberg.
   Finnish        125th Street.
   Flemish        Muhlenberg.
   Greek (Modern) Chatham Square.
   Hebrew         Seward Park, Aguilar.
   Hungarian      Tompkins Square, Hamilton Fish Park,
                    Yorkville, Woodstock.
   Italian        Hudson Park, Aguilar, Bond Street.
   Norwegian      Tottenville.
   Polish         Rivington Street, Tompkins Square,
                    Columbus, Melrose.
   Roumanian        Rivington Street.
   Russian          Seward Park, Rivington Street, Hamilton
                      Fish Park, 96th Street, Chatham
                      Square.
   Slovak           Webster.
   Spanish          Jackson Square.
   Swedish          125th Street, 58th Street.
   Servian          Muhlenberg.
   Yiddish          Rivington Street, Seward Park, Hamilton
                      Fish Park, Aguilar, Tremont.

=Interbranch Loan.= A book in any one of the Branches is available to a
reader at any other Branch through a system of interbranch loans.

=Reading Rooms.= The total attendance in the adult reading rooms in the
Branch Libraries, during 1915, was 1,224,526. The greatest use of
reading rooms is at two of the Branches on the lower East Side.

[Illustration: ADULTS' ROOM--58th STREET BRANCH]

=Library for the Blind.= The Library for the Blind, although under control
of the Circulation Department, has its headquarters and reading room in
the Central Building. Its work has been described on page 22.

[Illustration: MOTT HAVEN BRANCH]

=Travelling Libraries.= From the office of the Travelling Libraries, in
the Central Building, collections of books are sent to communities and
homes in outlying districts of the city; to churches, Sunday schools,
settlements, clubs, stores, factories,--in fact, to any community or
institution not readily served by a Branch Library. There are about 800
stations with Travelling Libraries. The circulation through these
agencies, in 1915, numbered 962,355 books. Travelling Library stations
are established in mercantile houses, in Fire and Police stations, fire
boats, Federal, State, and City Department offices, armories, ships of
the coast guard, vacation playgrounds, and summer camps. Books are sent
in this manner to prisons, workhouses, elementary and high schools,
hospitals, and army posts in New York City.

[Illustration: BOND STREET BRANCH

(THE OLDEST BRANCH)]

[Illustration: TRAVELLING LIBRARY IN A MERCANTILE HOUSE]

=Work with Children.= The work with children comprises a great deal
besides the maintenance of children's rooms and the circulation of
children's books. In 1915, the total circulation of books to children,
including the figures recorded by the juvenile work of the Travelling
Libraries, was 4,415,794, or forty-two per cent. of the total
circulation of the Library. The Library works with the schools and
museums. It holds special exhibitions, meetings, and celebrations of
interest to children and to parents. Between fifty and sixty reading
clubs for the older boys and girls meet at the Branch Libraries. Groups
of children gather in the Branches from November to May, to attend
"story hours."

=Lectures and meetings.= The Branches are used as meeting places by
literary, educational and social organizations and clubs. Assembly rooms
in the Branches are open for any meeting of an instructive or literary
nature, provided that no admission fee is charged, and that nothing of a
political or sectarian character is discussed. Many classes of
foreigners learning English meet regularly in the Branch Libraries.

[Illustration: AT A STORY HOUR]



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE LIBRARY


The New York Public Library, as it exists to-day, is the result of the
generosity of a few private citizens, combined with the efforts of the
City itself. Its corporate existence, in its present form, began on May
23, 1895, by the consolidation of: "The Trustees of the Astor Library,"
"The Trustees of the Lenox Library," and "The Tilden Trust."

[Illustration: LIBRARY'S INSTRUCTOR TEACHING THE BLIND TO READ]

[Illustration: READING WITH THE FINGERS IN THE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND]

=The Astor Library=, originally incorporated in 1849, was founded by John
Jacob Astor. His gifts, together with those of his sons and grandsons,
amounted to about $1,700,000. Washington Irving was the first
President of the Library, and Joseph Green Cogswell its first
Superintendent, or Librarian. In its building on Lafayette Place (now
Lafayette Street) it was for many years one of the literary landmarks of
New York. At the time of its consolidation with The New York Public
Library it had an endowment fund of about $941,000, which produced an
annual income of about $47,000. It contained then 266,147 volumes. It
was solely a reference library,--the funds were given with the
understanding that the books should not be lent for use outside the
building.

[Illustration: SUMMER AFTERNOON STORY HOUR]

[Illustration: CORNER OF CHILDREN'S READING ROOM, HARLEM LIBRARY
BRANCH]

=The Lenox Library.= James Lenox, one of America's greatest book
collectors, was born in New York City in 1800 and died there in 1880. In
1870, by the incorporation of the Lenox Library, he gave to the city of
his birth his books and art treasures. The building, which formerly
stood on Fifth Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets, was erected for the
Library and opened to the public, a part at a time, beginning in 1876.
At the time of consolidation the Library owned its building, an
endowment fund of $505,500, which yielded an annual income of about
$20,500; and about 86,000 volumes. This also was a reference library,
not a circulating library.

[Illustration: VISIT OF A CLASS FROM A PUBLIC SCHOOL]

=The Tilden Trust.= Samuel Jones Tilden was born in New Lebanon, New York,
in 1814. He died in New York City in 1886. By the final settlement of
his estate the City received his private library and an endowment fund
of about $2,000,000, for library purposes.

[Illustration: TRAVELLING LIBRARY IN A FACTORY]

=Consolidation.= In the agreement for consolidation it was provided that
the name of the new corporation should be "The New York Public Library,
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations"; that the number of its trustees
should be twenty-one, to be selected from the thirty-three members of
the separate boards; and that "the said new corporation shall establish
and maintain a free public library and reading room in the City of New
York, with such branches as may be deemed advisable, and shall continue
and promote the several objects and purposes set forth in the respective
acts of incorporation of 'The Trustees of the Astor Library,' 'The
Trustees of the Lenox Library,' and 'The Tilden Trust.'"

[Illustration: TRAVELLING LIBRARY IN FIRE-ENGINE HOUSE]

[Illustration: ROOF READING ROOM, SEWARD PARK BRANCH]

Later, another member was added to the Board of Trustees, and three
municipal officials were made members _ex officio_.

The first Director of The New York Public Library was Dr. John Shaw
Billings, who served from 1896 until his death in 1913. He rendered
distinguished services, especially in the organization of the new
Library and in the arrangement of the Central Building.

=New York Free Circulating Library.= In 1901 the New York Free Circulating
Library was consolidated with the new system. This Library had then
eleven Branches and owned about 160,000 volumes.

=Other Circulating Libraries.= In 1901, the St. Agnes Free Library and the
Washington Heights Free Library were also added to the system. The New
York Free Circulating Library for the Blind and the Aguilar Free
Library, with four Branches, were added in 1903. In 1904, the Harlem
Free Library, Tottenville Free Library, the University Settlement
Library at Rivington and Eldridge Streets, and the Webster Free Library
followed. Also in 1904 the five Branches of the Cathedral Free
Circulating Library became part of the new corporation.

=Carnegie Branches.= In 1901 Mr. Andrew Carnegie offered Greater New York
$5,200,000 for the construction and equipment of free circulating
libraries, on condition that the City provide the land and agree to
maintain the libraries when built. The offer was accepted, and
thirty-seven Branch Libraries are now housed in buildings erected with
that part of Mr. Carnegie's gift assigned to The New York Public
Library. A directory of all the Branch Libraries may be found on page
77.

=Management.= The corporation is managed by a Board of twenty-five
Trustees, including the Mayor, Comptroller, and President of the Board
of Aldermen _ex officio_. The names of the Trustees are given on page
76. The Trustees hold office continuously, and vacancies are filled by
vote of the remaining Trustees. No Trustee receives any compensation for
his services. The immediate management of the Library is entrusted to
the Director. The Staff numbers between twelve and thirteen hundred
persons, including those in the Central Building and in the Branches. As
the buildings are open between twelve and thirteen hours a day the Staff
works in two shifts. Somewhat less than half of the Staff are employed
in the Central Building.

[Illustration: BOYS' CLUB; YORKVILLE BRANCH]

=Benefactors.= A complete list of the Library's benefactors, besides the
three founders, can more appropriately be given elsewhere. In addition
to Mr. Carnegie's gift, one bequest should be noted here: that of John
S. Kennedy, who in 1909 left about $3,000,000 to the Library, without
conditions.

=Work of the Library.= This historical sketch may help to make clear the
organization and work of the Library as it is carried on to-day. It is a
free reference library combined with a free circulating library. The
books in the Reference Department (in the Central Building) which came
from either the Astor or the Lenox Libraries, and those which have been
added since the consolidation, from the endowments of those Libraries,
must necessarily be for reference use only. The Astor and Lenox
Foundations give the Trustees of The New York Public Library no option
in this matter. About one million books in the Circulation Department
(the Branch Libraries) are lent for home use.

[Illustration: KINGSBRIDGE BRANCH]

[Illustration: FLOOR PLANS, CENTRAL BUILDING]

[Illustration: FLOOR PLANS, CENTRAL BUILDING]



TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE LIBRARY


   WILLIAM W. APPLETON
   ANDREW CARNEGIE
   CLEVELAND H. DODGE
   JOHN MURPHY FARLEY
   SAMUEL GREENBAUM
   FREDERIC R. HALSEY
   JOHN HENRY HAMMOND
   LEWIS CASS LEDYARD
   J. P. MORGAN
   MORGAN J. O'BRIEN
   STEPHEN H. OLIN
   HENRY FAIRFIELD OSBORN
   WILLIAM BARCLAY PARSONS
   GEORGE L. RIVES
   ELIHU ROOT
   CHARLES HOWLAND RUSSELL
   EDWARD W. SHELDON
   GEORGE W. SMITH
   I. N. PHELPS STOKES
   FREDERICK STURGES
   HENRY W. TAFT
   PAYNE WHITNEY

   JOHN PURROY MITCHEL, Mayor of the City of New York, _ex officio_

   WILLIAM A. PRENDERGAST,
   Comptroller of the City of New York, _ex officio_

   FRANK L. DOWLING, President of the Board of Aldermen, _ex officio_


OFFICERS

   _President_, GEORGE L. RIVES
   _First Vice-President_, LEWIS CASS LEDYARD
   _Second Vice-President_, ELIHU ROOT
   _Secretary_, CHARLES HOWLAND RUSSELL
   _Treasurer_, EDWARD W. SHELDON
   _Director of the Library_, EDWIN H. ANDERSON

   _Chief Reference Librarian_, H. M. LYDENBERG
   _Chief of the Circulation Department_, BENJAMIN ADAMS



BRANCH LIBRARIES


With the exception of the Central Building, the names of the Branches in
Manhattan and The Bronx are arranged as they are situated, from south to
north.

Names marked with a star (*) are of Branches occupying Carnegie
buildings.

MANHATTAN

   CENTRAL BUILDING. Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
     CENTRAL CIRCULATION
     CHILDREN'S ROOM
     LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND
     TRAVELLING LIBRARIES
   CHATHAM SQUARE.* 33 East Broadway
   SEWARD PARK.* 192 East Broadway
   RIVINGTON STREET,* 61
   HAMILTON FISH PARK.* 388 East Houston Street
   HUDSON PARK.* 66 Leroy Street
   BOND STREET, 49. Near the Bowery
   OTTENDORFER. 135 Second Avenue. Near 8th Street
   TOMPKINS SQUARE.* 331 East 10th Street
   JACKSON SQUARE. 251 West 13th Street
   EPIPHANY.* 228 East 23rd Street
   MUHLENBERG.* 209 West 23rd Street
   ST. GABRIEL'S PARK.* 303 East 36th Street
   40TH STREET,* 457 West
   CATHEDRAL. 123 East 50th Street
   COLUMBUS.* 742 Tenth Avenue. Near 51st Street
   58TH STREET,* 121 East
   67TH STREET,* 328 East
   RIVERSIDE.* 190 Amsterdam Avenue. Near 69th Street
   WEBSTER.* 1465 Avenue A. Near 78th Street
   YORKVILLE.* 222 East 79th Street
   ST. AGNES.* 444 Amsterdam Avenue. Near 81st Street
   96TH STREET,* 112 East
   BLOOMINGDALE. 206 West 100th Street
   AGUILAR.* 174 East 110th Street
   115TH STREET,* 203 West
   HARLEM LIBRARY.* 9 West 124th Street
   125TH STREET,* 224 East
   GEORGE BRUCE. 78 Manhattan Street
   135TH STREET,* 103 West
   HAMILTON GRANGE.* 503 West 145th Street
   WASHINGTON HEIGHTS.* 1000 St. Nicholas Ave. Cor. of 160th St.
   FORT WASHINGTON.* 535 West 179th Street


THE BRONX

   MOTT HAVEN.* 321 East 140th Street
   WOODSTOCK.* 759 East 160th Street
   MELROSE.* 910 Morris Avenue. Corner of 162nd Street.
   HIGH BRIDGE.* 78 West 168th Street
   MORRISANIA.* 610 East 169th Street
   TREMONT.* 1866 Washington Avenue. Corner of 176th Street
   KINGSBRIDGE.* 3041 Kingsbridge Avenue. Near 230th Street


RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)

   ST. GEORGE.* 5 Central Avenue. Tompkinsville P. O.
   PORT RICHMOND.* 75 Bennett Street
   STAPLETON.* 132 Canal Street
   TOTTENVILLE.* 7430 Amboy Road



PUBLICATIONS OF THE LIBRARY


A reader of this Handbook may wish to know about some other sources of
information concerning the Library. For that reason a few of its
publications are named here. They may be consulted in the Central
Building or any of the Branches.

=Annual Report= of The New York Public Library. (A limited number are sent
to institutions or private persons upon request.)

=Bulletin= of The New York Public Library. Published monthly. Chiefly
devoted to the Reference Department. Bibliography, news of the Library,
reprints of manuscripts, descriptions of new accessions. One dollar a
year; current single numbers for ten cents. Back numbers at advanced
rates.

=Branch Library News.= Monthly publication of the Circulation Department.
Lists of new books, reading lists, articles about books, etc. Given free
at the Branches. By mail free to libraries and other public
institutions. Otherwise, twenty-five cents a year.

=Facts for the Public.= A small pamphlet of general information about the
Library. Much of its contents is also contained in this Handbook. Given
free.

=Central Building Guide.= A small pamphlet. Price five cents.



THE CROTON RESERVOIR


As the Central Building of the Library stands on part of the site of the
old Croton Reservoir, it is fitting to reprint here the inscriptions on
two tablets which were formerly affixed to the Reservoir.

One tablet is now on the first floor of the Central Building, on the
wall of the south or 40th Street corridor. The inscription is:

   HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT
   OF THE CROTON AQUEDUCT

   The Law authorizing the construction of the work, passed May
   2nd, 1834.

   STEPHEN ALLEN, WILLIAM W. FOX, SAUL ALLEY,
   CHARLES DUSENBERRY and BENJAMIN M. BROWN were appointed
   _Commissioners_.

   During the year 1834, two surveys were made--one by DAVID
   B. DOUGLASS and the other by JOHN MARTINEAU.

   In April, 1835, a majority of the Electors of the City voted in
   favour of constructing the Aqueduct.

   On the 7th May following, the _Common Council_ "instructed the
   Commissioners to proceed with the work."

   DAVID B. DOUGLASS was employed as _Chief Engineer_ until
   October, 1836; when he was succeeded by JOHN B. JERVIS.

   In March, 1837, BENJAMIN M. BROWN resigned, and was succeeded
   by THOMAS T. WOODRUFF.

   In March, 1840, the before mentioned Commissioners were succeeded
   by SAMUEL STEVENS, JOHN D. WARD, ZEBEDEE RING,
   BENJAMIN BIRDSALL and SAMUEL R. CHILDS.

   The work was commenced in May, 1837. On the 22nd June, 1842,
   the Aqueduct was so far completed that it received the Water from the
   Croton River Lake; on the 27th the Water entered the Receiving Reservoir
   and was admitted into this Reservoir on the succeeding 4th of July.

   The DAM at the Croton River is 40 feet high, and the overfall
   251 feet in length.

   The CROTON RIVER LAKE is five miles long, and covers an
   area of 400 acres.

   The AQUEDUCT, from the DAM to this Reservoir, is 40-1/2 miles
   long, and will deliver in twenty-four hours 60,000,000 imperial gallons.

   The capacity of the Receiving Reservoir is 150,000,000 gallons,
   and of this reservoir 20,000,000.

   The cost, to and including this Reservoir, nearly $9,000,000.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the pavement of the south court is a tablet with this inscription:

CROTON AQUEDUCT.

DISTRIBUTING RESERVOIR.

COMMISSIONERS.

   SAMUEL STEVENS
   ZEBEDEE RING
   JOHN D. WARD
   BENJ^n BIRDSALL
   SAMUEL R. CHILDS

ENGINEERS.

   JOHN B. JERVIS. CHIEF.
   H^o ALLEN, PRIN^l ASSIST.
   P. HASTIE, RESIDENT.

BUILDERS.

   THOMSON PRICE & SON.

COMMENCED A. D. MDCCCXXXVIII.

COMPLETED A. D. MDCCCXLII.



   TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND COPIES
   OF THIS FIRST EDITION OF THE
   HANDBOOK WERE PRINTED AT
   THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
   IN JUNE 1916





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